City, state wrangle over road extension
What ever happened to a roughly 30-year-old plan to build an extension of Kuakini Street from Lanakila Avenue to Hala Drive?
Answer: In 2001, Liliha residents revived a push for the extension, saying it would provide a straight and safe route for motorists going east and west at Lanakila Avenue.
Right now, because Kuakini ends at Lanakila, drivers have to turn from Kuakini onto Lanakila and then turn onto Keola Street.
Residents say the straight extension also would alleviate a traffic bottleneck.
The city has allotted $1 million for the project, but the funding expires this year. Before it can begin the project, the city is waiting for the state to decide how it will convey the land to the city, said Jeff Coelho, director of the city Department of Customer Services.
Coelho said the city wants only the right of way, but the state wants the city to take over a larger amount of land.
Coelho said the city cannot accept liability for unused remnants of the land.
In 2006 the city rejected the state's land because maintenance and liability for the unused remnants would be too costly, according to a Department of Land and Natural Resources document.
State Sen. Suzanne Chun Oakland (D, Kalihi-Liliha) said the attorney general and the state were not open to keeping only a small sliver of land. She said the state "bent over backwards" for a solution and met with Maluhia Hospital, which has expressed interest in the mauka side of land for a parking lot.
A DLNR spokeswoman said the department is working with local representatives, the city and the hospital to find a solution. To avoid the land question, the city proposed an alternative: a four-way intersection at Kuakini and Lanakila Avenue with an angled extension on Kuakini to connect it with Keola Street.
Residents rejected the proposal, and the Liliha Neighborhood Board voted it down at its last meeting. "It doesn't remove the hazards," said board Chairman Robert Stubbs. "If you don't get what you need, why get it at all?"
This update was written by Robert Shikina.
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